Founded in 2000, Pharmaleads is specialized in the detection, inhibition and modulation of proteases involved in human diseases. As early as 2004, through the development of a portfolio of totally new drug candidates, especially for the treatment of pain, Pharmaleads asserted its status as a profitable biotechnology player. Since 2004, it has invested around €30 million in R&D, the largest part being spent on its pain pipeline. The company is still controlled by its four founders (two scientists and two managers).
Thanks to its scientific expertise – Pharmaleads’ chemistry is world-class – and its highly experienced management with a strong international track record, the company is able to design and synthesize, in-house, inhibitors of proteases that are quickly transformable into drug candidates, but also to skillfully handle its intellectual property and thereby creating value while building significant industrial collaboration. The company holds a portfolio of 11 patents (5 in pain) and 3 brands.
Major successes of Pharmaleads achieved to date in the field of proteases:
Dual enkephalinase (NEP and APN) inhibitors (DENKIs) : a new class of pain killers
This is a radically new approach to the treatment of pain based on the pharmacological work and chemistry know-how of the founding scientists of Pharmaleads and its team. See Pain
Diagnosis and markers:
Botulinum toxin (a protease): two applications have been developed and marketed
- Quantification of botulinum toxin in vials of products for cosmetic and medical applications: a non-exclusive license has been granted to a major manufacturer of botulinum toxin.
- Field detector of botulinum toxin in water to prevent bio-terrorist attacks (this activity has been terminated).
Pharmaleads has developed a specific substrate of a protease secreted by Legionella pneumophila which makes it possible to detect the presence of these living bacteria in less than 2 hours. The market, primarily hospitals and aero-refrigerated towers, is vast and recurrent.
Markers for aneurysmal and atherothrombosis activity:
Atherothrombosis is the cause of the majority of serious cardiovascular accidents, coronary diseases, strokes and aneurysms. A patent was filed in early 2010 in association with INSERM describing genuine markers of vulnerability and allowing early diagnosis.